Friday, January 13, 2017

Death Race 2000

Date of Release: 1975
Director: Paul Bartel
MPAA Rating: R

In a dystopian America, the national sport is "The Transcontinental Death Race." This event is a brutal game where drivers get points for running over innocent people. The most famous racer of them all is Frankenstein, whom is a very mysterious man that has a face unknown to everyone except his navigator Annie. Throughout, a resistance attempts to kill the drivers, in order to have the race abolished in the future.

The film was produced by cinema legend Roger Corman, it was directed by Paul Bartel, and it stars David Carradine, Sylvester Stallone, Simone Griffieth, and Sandy McCallum.

"Death Race 2000" is a simple film on the surface. It looks and feels like a campy comedy, and it will fill you with laughter on many occasions. But like "South Park," this humor is used to entertain viewers while portraying deep political messages. As brutal and unnecessary the violence may seem, it all is used appropriately to show what the world will become if we let a totalitarian government take over. It also shows the hypocrisy of the resistance, because they kill to stop killing. All of this is successfully portrayed with great direction by Bartel, wonderful acting by the leads, and the supporting actors that perform as the spectators, because their obsession with the race satirically shows how desensitized the people of the world have become. This film is endlessly interesting, and it has great rewatch value.

Overall, there isn't really anything to dislike about "Death Race 2000." It is a hilarious and extremely effective film that proves to be a great example of the golden age of exploitation films. I highly recommend this movie to any fans of cinema, because it is a gem that should never be forgotten.

Grade: 10/10

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Release Date: 1980
Director: William Lustig
MPAA Rating: R

A man that was deranged by abuse throughout his childhood now enjoys the hobby of killing and scalping beautiful women.

The movie was written by its lead actor Joe Spinell, and also stars Caroline Munro as Anne.

Watching "Maniac," I was blown away by the storyline, Spinell's performance, and the gore effects by the master Tom Savini. The movie captured a realism that was the main ingredient of why it is an extremely terrifying film. The character of Frank Zito is one that is as disturbed as Travis in "Taxi Driver," but we only gradually learn why he is so messed up. He is a character that could absolutely exist in the real world, and just thinking that someone so sadistic could lurk around the streets of Earth is horrifying. What really brings out the depth in his character is the fact that he gets extremely upset after every time he kills. This shows that he is truly a maniac, like the title suggests, because he knows what he is doing is wrong, but he is never going to stop. Back to Savini's effects though. There have been many projects that he has impressed me with, whether it was "Dawn of the Dead," "Creepshow," "The Burning," etc, but this one may have taken the cake for me. The blood and gore looked disgustingly real to me, and there were multiple scenes that had me cringing. There was one scene that almost made my head explode(pun intended). If there's anything that this movie will be remembered for in a hundred years, it will definitely be Savini's contributions. The one other thing that I loved about the movie was the suspense that graced many scenes of the film. Lustig was very smart in the way that he made any scenes of horror very slow and unpredictable, because even though the audience could guess that something bad was about to happen, it was very hard to track down when it was going to happen. This personally kept me on the edge of my seat frequently, which is what I love about horror movies. The main flaw with the film is that there were plot holes that had me wishing for more. For instance, where was Frank getting all of these mannequins? Other than that, this movie was pretty great in my eyes, and is one of the better in the slasher genre.

"Maniac" is a movie that stands the test of time, because it doesn't hold back at all, and gives a realistic look of a seriously disturbed man. I definitely recommend this to any fans of the horror genre, but it is definitely not for anyone with a weak stomach.

B-Movie Grade: 8/10